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Published: Thursday, 11/9/2006

Most school issues pass

Voters Tuesday supported most area school district levies, except for measures in Bowling Green, Perrysburg, and North Baltimore that failed.

Meanwhile, passage of a 0.75-mill, five-year continuing improvement levy for Maumee City Schools hinges on provisional ballots after building a 15-vote advantage in all reporting precincts.

"We're going to be cautiously optimistic until it becomes certified that is passed," Maumee schools Superintendent Greg Smith said.

If approved, owners of a $100,000 home would have to pay an additional $23 a year in taxes.

Statewide, there were 206 school district issues on the ballot. Of those, 110 passed; 96 failed, the Ohio Department of Education said.

Perrysburg schools' 2.39-mill, 28-year bond issue was defeated soundly by voters, with over 55 percent of those casting ballots rejecting it. The levy would have generated $28.9 million to pay for renovations.

Superintendent Michael Cline said the school board is considering placing the issue on the May ballot.

The bond issue would have cost the owner of a $200,000 home an additional $146 annually.

North Baltimore Superintendent Kyle Clark yesterday began implementing a second round of budget cuts intended to keep the district afloat after repeated levy failures. "I think people feel this is their only real way of telling the state of Ohio that the school funding formula is not right," Mr. Clark said.

Voters in the Bowling Green City Schools narrowly defeated a $27.5 million bond issue to build an auditorium and a new junior high school to replace the one built in 1925.

Calling the vote disappointing, Superintendent Hugh Caumartin said the board narrowed its request to what residents said the district needed most.

In the southeast corner of Hancock County, Vanlue Local Schools - one of the smallest school districts in the state with just 280 students - was soundly defeated in its request for a combination 4.2-mill property tax and a 0.5 percent income tax that would have paid the district's share of a new K-12 school.

Superintendent Tim Kruse said the Ohio School Facilities Commission will pay 73 percent of the $12.7 million project, but Vanlue has just one more chance to try to raise its share.

He said he will recommend the board put the same issue on the ballot in February.

Otsego Local Schools' renewal of a 1.6-mill levy was passed in Wood County with 53 percent of the vote. However, some voters in Lucas and Henry counties also voted on this issue and the results were too close to call yesterday.

Lake Local School District voters approved a five-year, 1.4-mill renewal tax levy for permanent improvements.

The district found itself on the ballot again after a big win at the polls in August. Before that, it was unsuccessful in nine attempts for new operating funding since 1999.

"I think people realize that we're going to be prudent with how we spend the money," school board President Eric Hirzel said.

The Ottawa Hills School District was among those celebrating yesterday with passage of a 1.5-mill, five-year permanent improvement levy that will generate revenue for a variety of projects.

Two school districts on the Ottawa County ballot will soon have money for current expenses or permanent improvements after voters approved levies.

Woodmore Local Schools needed funding from a five-year, 4-mill replacement levy to alleviate the need to cut academics, district leaders said.

In Genoa, a list of permanent improvements, including parking lot resurfacing, roof replacement, and chimney repairs, will soon be under way after voters passed a five-year, 1.35-mill renewal levy.



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